New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

April 21, 2014

Environmental officials watch drilling impacts

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Your recent editorial, “Ohio’s earthquake response demands Pennsylvania action” gives false alarm to residents that Pennsylvania state officials are downplaying safety concerns related to drilling and seismic activity.

However, your editorial does correctly call on states to plan and prepare, not react. As the current leaders of Pennsylvania’s two environmental agencies, we can assure Pennsylvania citizens that Pennsylvania has planned and prepared, taking a forward-looking approach in order to ensure drilling activity is done safely and responsibly.

Pennsylvania is ahead of the curve when it comes to monitoring for any seismic activity and other potential risks related to drilling. Pennsylvania has a long history of monitoring shale drilling activity, with about 7,900 wells currently drilled in the state, compared to about 750 wells in Ohio.

Despite the large amount of drilling activity in the state, Pennsylvania has not seen similar seismic experiences that are cause for concern or alarm. Ohio’s recent incidents have led them to take appropriate action, based on their specific geology, which is very different than Pennsylvania’s.

Despite the lack of evidence connecting drilling and seismic activity in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources continue to closely monitor drilling, looking specifically for any concerns that might impact public health and safety.

We will continue to work closely with our highly trained geologic experts to ensure that drilling activity is done with the safety and well-being of Pennsylvanians as our foremost priority.

Ellen Ferretti,

secretary,

Department of Conservation

and Natural Resources

E. Christopher Abruzzo,

secretary,

Department of Environmental Protection

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